2 players make alternate moves on a 9x9 board attempting to capture their
Black moves first.
The 3 ranks (rows) furthest from each player are their "promotion zone".
Each player has 20 pieces in an even game and the pieces can be distinguished
by the Black piece names being in upper-case and the White piece names in lower-case.
The King (K) can move to
any adjacent space on a rank, file (column) or diagonal.
The Gold General (G) is
similar to the King, except it cannot move diagonally backwards.
The Silver General (S) is
also similar to the King, except it cannot move backwards on a file or sideways
on a rank.
The Pawn (P) can move 1
space forwards on a file.
The Rook (R) can move any
number of spaces on any rank or any file.
The Bishop (B) can move
any number of spaces on any diagonal.
The Lance (L) can move any
number of spaces forwards on a file.
The Knight (N) can jump
to either of the 2 spaces which are 2 spaces forward and 1 space left or
The Rook, Bishop and Lance can move any number of spaces in the directions
indicated, but may not jump over a piece.
The Knight, Lance and Pawn can only move forwards.
The Knight can jump over a piece to move.
When pieces move partly or completely in their promotion zone they may or
may not be promoted. Normally the piece name is prefixed by a "+".
The promoted Lance
(+L), Knight (+N), Silver (+S) and Pawn (+P) move like a Gold.
The promoted Rook (+R)
acquires the moves of a King plus a Rook.
The promoted Bishop
(+B) acquires the moves of a King plus a Bishop.
The Gold and King cannot be promoted.
If a piece is not promoted when it could have been, it can be promoted later
if it moves in its promotion zone. When a piece has been promoted, it stays
promoted unless that piece is captured, in which case it reverts to its
A Lance or Pawn reaching the last rank MUST be promoted, otherwise they could
not make any more legal moves.
A Knight reaching either of the last two ranks MUST be promoted.
A piece moves onto a space occupied by an opponent's piece and that piece
is removed. The piece is placed in a storage area, "in hand".
A piece "in hand" may be used and dropped at any vacant space on the board
instead of making a move, but please note that pieces are dropped in an
unpromoted state, and MUST be able to make a legal move.
Also a Pawn cannot be dropped on a file where there is an existing unpromoted
Pawn, and a Pawn cannot Checkmate by a DROP.
Object of the game:
The object of the game is to capture the opponent's King.
When a King cannot avoid being captured, it is said to be "Checkmated" and
the game is over.
No stalemate can occur as it is legal for the King to move into "Check" (the
King may be captured).
Agreed draws are not allowed.
A draw may occur if the same board position and the next player to move are
repeated 4 times during a game.
An illegal move results in the loss of the game, no matter when the illegal
move has been discovered.
When writing game scores the following notation is recommended:
P : Pawn.
L : Lance.
N : Knight.
S : Silver.
G : Gold.
K : King.
R : Rook.
B : Bishop.
- : move.
x : capture.
* : drop.
+ before name : promoted piece.
+ after move : promotion.
= after move : no promotion.
S-3e : move Silver to file 3 and rank e.
Gx5g : capture piece on file 5 and rank g with Gold.
N-2b+ : move Knight to file 2 and rank b, and promote it.
N-2c= : move Knight to file 2 and rank c, and do not promote it.
L*5e : drop Lance on file 5 and rank e.
+R-4h : move promoted Rook to file 4 and rank h.
B5b-7d : move Bishop to file 7 and rank d from file 5 and rank b (to avoid